A deliciously simple cookie bar which uses the most inexpensive ingredients; this traditional Newfoundland confection earns a five star rating every single time!
Let me start, Dear Reader, by stating that I’m not sure if this recipe is actually a traditional Newfoundland recipe or not, but for my purposes, I’m going to refer to is as so. And, in a minute, I’ll explain. Newfoundland Five Star Cookie Bars are the fifth cookie in Lord Byron’s 24 Cookies of Christmas series!
Have you ever had those moments when something finally clicks in your brain and things start to make sense; things that you had questioned for so long? I cannot tell you how many times I had questioned why these bars are called Five Star Cookie Bars. I thought maybe it was because of the number of ingredients, but that didn’t quite make sense, because there’s actually six ingredients.
It didn’t hit me until just now that they are probably called Five Star Cookie Bars, because they are five stars in taste, texture, and ease. I tell you, Dear Reader, I can be so slow to catch on sometimes. But, if I’m being honest here, I’ve asked others the same question before. (I won’t mention any names!) And, their response was, “I’m not sure.”
If Newfoundland Five Star Cookie Bars were given the name because of a rating then it makes complete sense. But, now I’m wondering if it has anything to do with the five Aero chocolate bars that are placed on top after the bars have been baked. I guess I’ll never know!
And, in a way, I guess it doesn’t matter. Newfoundland Five Star Cookie Bars, most commonly named Five Star Bars in Newfoundland, are delicious and trivial things like how they got their name really shouldn’t be of concern.
These bars were common during my childhood. Mom would make them regularly, not just at Christmastime. When I was married though, my ex-wife and her mom used to make them only at Christmastime, from what I can recall. I think that was the time in which I came to appreciate them most, because my ex-wife’s version tasted better than my mom’s.
I only make these at Christmastime. Unlike my mom who would make them any time the mood hit her, I think they are a great cookie to make at Christmastime, because they are so easy to make and since we all tend to be a little busier at Christmastime anyway, I like to save the easy cookie and square recipes for December. It just eases my stress levels.
You see, Dear Reader, as much as I love Christmastime, I do stress out about it probably way more than I should. My love of Christmas, which was inherited from my mom, comes with the need for perfection. I know, I know, that’s not how it should be, but I find immense pleasure in trying to perfect Christmas, so much so that it outweighs the stress.
So, you see, I offset it by making lots and lots of varieties of cookies and squares. Some are super easy like these Newfoundland Five Star Cookie Bars, and some are a little more complex. Whatever your level of baking skills, there’s a cookie for you in my 24 Cookies of Christmas series.
Here’s a complete list of the cookies posted to Lord Byron’s Kitchen so far, just in case you missed one. Just click on the name of the cookie to locate the post and the recipe. Oh, and tomorrow’s recipe is another square type cookie that’s fit for a queen!
UPDATE: Since all of the 24 Cookies of Christmas have now been published, I’ve compiled the complete list for you right here!
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Newfoundland Five Star Cookie Bars
- 1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
- 2 cups graham crumb
- 2 cups unsweetened coconut, fine or medium shred
- 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk, canned
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 5 whole Aero chocolate bars
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line an 8×8 inch pan with parchment paper. Set aside.
- Add the butter, vanilla, and sweetened condensed milk to a bowl. Blend together with a hand-held mixer. You are not beating these ingredients! At this point, we are basically stirring them together well.
- Add the coconut and graham crumbs. With the mixer on low speed, incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet.
- Transfer this mixture to the parchment lined pan. Press the mixture flat and into the corners.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- While the bars are baking, unwrap the Aero bars and break them into chunks.
- As soon as the bars are out of the oven, sprinkle the Aero chunks evenly over the surface. Allow the bars to sit for 5 minutes.
- Use an offset spatula to evenly spread the now soft Aero Bar chunks over the top of the bars.
- Allow the whole thing to cool to room temperature – at least 3 hours!
- Lift the bars out using the parchment paper. Cut into 16 squares. Store in food-safe container in the fridge. Can be frozen too!
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